Jayapura, Jubi – A petition claimed to hold the wishes of Papuan people on a referendum in the Land of Papua has been debated since last week among people in the Land of Papua, the Government of Indonesia and the United Nations (UN).
Denials and accusations have sprung up in various national media since the petition was published by the British media, The Guardian. The Indonesian government accused Benny Wenda, the actor behind the petition of lying and spreading hoax.
Quoting the statement of the Chairman of Decolonization Special Committee known as C24, Rafael Ramirez, Permanent Mission of the United Nations in New York said there was no petition from West Papua received by C24.
On the other hand, Benny Wenda said that if the petition was a hoax as stated by the Indonesian government, why would anyone be jailed for organizing the signing of the petition? He already suspects Indonesia will do anything to discredit the petition, himself and other West Papuan leaders, even the people of West Papua.
However, some Papuans have the view that submitting the petition is not a substantial matter. The Indonesian government must recognize that the policy in the Land of Papua has not yet satisfied the Papuan indigenous (OAP).
Response from Papua
Responding to the furor of this petition, Papuan legislator Laurenz Kadepa said the current mutual claims between the Indonesian government and Benny Wenda are not the substance of the Papua issue. The most important thing it should be a lesson for the government so that policies for Papua should be evaluated from all aspects, especially human rights.
“Hoax or true, the petition information is not to be debated. Now the human rights issue in Papua is on the UN agenda and it will be an obstacle for the Indonesian government. Because the states that concern of Papua human rights continue to grow, not just Melanesian countries,” said Kadepa, Sunday (October 1).
“The Indonesian government should correct itself and improve its policy in Papua,” Kadepa continued.
While the Chairman of West Papua National Committee, Victor Yeimo to Benar News confirmed that even if without any petition everyone knows the desire of the people of Papua, which is to hold a referendum as a media to shape the fate of Papuan people.
Regarding the Chairman of C24’s rebuttal, according to Yeimo, if Chairman C24 refuses to accept the petition in his capacity as chairman it is reasonable because the authority of the commission is still in the 17 territorial of non self governance territories. Ramirez has the right to refuse the formal acceptance.
“What must be understood by the people of Papua is the chairman of C24 himself in the interview video said that West Papua was listed by General Assembly. It means he explains the procedural issues that are need to be encouraged. So, the petition is good as public awareness, but the main thing for the Papuan people is to strengthen the strength of domestic struggle, to encourage the liberation process of the people of Papua, “said Yeimo.
The same is said by Markus Haluk, one of the ULMWP’s work teams. In fact, on Tuesday 26 September 2017 Benny Wenda, accompanied by Rex Rumakiek, one of the executives of United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP), submitted a petition to the chairman of the UN Decolonization Commission in New York.
“If there is a response from the Government of Indonesia that says it is a lie, I think it’s all okay. We pray and work that in time the truth is upright for the Nation of Papua and Indonesia and the UN,” said Haluk.
ULMWP continues, focusing and working on the right of self-determination without being disturbed by the furor that arose from the petition.
Benny Wenda and his petition
Benny Wenda, a Papuan independence leader claimed to have handed the West Papua People’s Petition to a C-24 representative. After the news of the submission was released by British media, The Guardian, the Government of Indonesia immediately denied it and named the petition as a publicity stunt without any credibility.
To Jubi, Benny Wenda said he submitted the petition to C24 representatives on September 26 at the Office of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He was with Rex Rumakiek who submitted the petition to C-24 representatives.
“More than 70% of the population in Papua wants a referendum in West Papua. Bishop Desmond Tutu and Noam Chomsky are two of the world’s leading figures who signed the petition, “Benny Wenda told the contents of the petition.
Wenda further said that the people of West Papua who are supported by the international community very much trust in the petition demand. West Papuan people demand West Papua to become a non-self-governing territory with full rights to liberty and freedom.
The signing of this petition does not go smoothly. Recorded petitions distributed online through the avaaz.org site were blocked by the Indonesian government by the end of 2016. Similarly, petitions were manually executed since April 2017. According to the ULMWP records, 57 people were arrested for supporting the petition. Among them are Yanto Awerkion, Vice Chairman of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) of Mimika and its secretary Sem Ukago on Tuesday (December 7, 2016).
“Yanto and Sem are threatened with Article 169 of the Criminal Code for participating in associations aimed at committing a crime, or participating in other associations prohibited by general rules, are punishable by imprisonment of up to six years,” added Benny Wenda.
The petition has made the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York, Triansyah Djani, issued a press release quoting an interview with Rafael Ramirez.
“As the Chairman of the UN Decolonization Special Committee (C-24), I and the Committee Secretariat, have never received, formally or informally, any petition or anyone about Papua as reported in the Guardian newspaper,” Rafael Ramírez said in a press release.
Ambassador Ramirez further affirmed that he highly respects the integrity and sovereignty of all members. The mandate of the Decolonization Committee, he added, is limited to 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories and Papua is not included in the 17 territories.
Ramirez’s statement is supported by an interview video broadcasted extensively through a youtube channel by the Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the UN, New York.
Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir, who participated with the Indonesian delegation at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, called the petition an unfounded action.
“It’s a pure publicity action without credibility,” he said, quoted by The Guardian.
Papua, continued Nasir is an integral part of Indonesia as stipulated in United Nations General Assembly resolution 2504 (XXIV) 1969.
Support of British MPs
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) of England is fully supports the West Papua people’s petition. APPG release received by Jubi on Wednesday (September 27) said this petition provides strong evidence that the people of West Papua want to express their hope for a better future.
Therefore, according to Hon. Alex Sobel, APPG member (from the British labor party) acknowledged that all APPG members support West Papuan people in calling for their inalienable right to self-determination democratically, so that they can freely decide their own future peacefully.
“We will also step up this significant development with the British Government,” Alex Sobel said.
Sobel continued, West Papua people have experienced more than 50 years of widespread human rights violations without a satisfactory solution. So it is clear that in a situation that continues to deteriorate, the people of West Papua are not secure under Indonesian occupation.(tabloidjubi.com/Zely Ariane)
West Papua National Liberation Army: It’s an attack, not execution
Jayapura, Jubi – West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) finally spoke up regarding the murder accusation over them. They admitted being responsible for the shooting of people identified as the employees of PT. Istaka Karya that are building the Trans-Papua road.
Papuans’ trust towards Jokowi has diminish regarding human rights solving
Jayapura, Jubi – Chairman of the Papuan Customary Council Dominikus Surabut said that President Joko Widodo’s policy regarding cases of alleged violations of human rights in Papua raised a sceptical trust of Papuans over him.
“It added a sceptical trust among Papuans, especially the victims’ families,” Surabut told Jubi at his office on Tuesday (27/11/2018) in Waena, Jayapura City, Papua.
Moreover, he said that during his administration there were 7,000 Papuans detained by police in peaceful demonstrations. It’s the highest number in the last decade.
And this distrust increased after the appointment of General Andika Perkasa as the Indonesian Army Chief. In the past, he was a member of the military operation in Papua, but his particular tasks were not explicit.
Some media have released about the involvement of General Andika in the murder of charismatic Papuan leader Theys Hiyo Eluai on 10 November 2001 in Jayapura, Papua.
Theys is the Chairman of Papua Presidium Council (PDP), a political organisation that fights for the independence of Papua that established during the administration of President Abdurrahman Wahid and was not popular among the Indonesian Military.
Indoprogress.com said that Andika’s involvement in the murder of Theys has never thoroughly investigated. His alleged involvement in the case revealed by a letter sent by Agus Zihof, the father of a defendant Captain Inf. Rionardo. Zihow who’s a retired army sent a letter to the Former Indonesian Military Chief General Ryamizard Ryacudu.
In his letter, Zihof said that his son was forced to confess to killing Theys by a man named Major Andika Perkasa. He also revealed that Andika promised to give his son a good position in the Indonesian State Intelligent Agency because his father-in-law was an influential person there. A special investigation team formed to investigate the murder case of Theys to examine Andika Perkasa.
Furthermore, Surabut said with human rights violators from the past surround him, Jokowi would never encounter the humanitarian problem in Indonesia.
Separately, President of the Synode of Baptiste Church of Papua, Dr Sokratez Sofyan Yoman, said President Joko Widodo seems to prioritize the formal events rather than the primary development in Papua.
“There is no significant change. Jokowi performs a play” said Yoman.
Moreover, he said Papuans do not require impromptu visits, acting, or carrying children during his visits, waving and smiling.
People amazed by his charming and that he has made ten official visits to Papua. But, He’s not aware that he never touch the main problem in Papua which is respecting human dignity instead of infrastructure development.
“We don’t need money. Our dignity is priceless. Money cannot measure it,” he said.
The more important is that he respects the dignity of Papuans by stopping all forms of violence and investigating who’s behind it because of 7,000 Papuans detained by the police during his administration. (*)
Reporter: Benny Mawel
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Government should pay more attention addressing HIV-AIDS in Papua
HIV-AIDS still becomes a ‘scary ghost’ for Papua Province.
A data released by the Ministry of Health in March recorded that within 12 years (2005-2017) the number of people living with AIDS in Papua has reached 19,729. This number is the highest rate among other Indonesian provinces, while the total of AIDS cases in Indonesia is 102.667.
The second highest rate of AIDS occurred in East Java for 18,243, following by Jakarta at 9,215, Central Java at 8,170, Bali at 7,441 and West Java at 6,502. However, the data showed that Papua Province is at the third rank for the number of people living with the HIV (29,083) compared to Jakarta (51,981) and East Java (39,633). Following Papua in the fourth and fifth ranks are West Java and East Java with 28,964 and 22,292 cases respectively.
Given the fact that the number of population in Papua Province is lesser than the provinces of Jakarta, East Java and West Java, it makes Papua becoming the province with the highest case rate of AIDS in Indonesia until December 2017. The case rate is cumulative of the number of people living with, died from AIDS and the total number of HIV-AIDS cases per 1000,000 population.
The case rate for Papua Province is 620,56 which 18,149 people living with AIDS and 1,580 people died from AIDS during 1987-2017, whereas West Papua Province is in the second place; at 216,46 including 1,699 people living with AIDS and 42 died from AIDS.
The updated figure for HIV-AIDS cases per 30 September 2018 in Papua Province is 38,874. It shows that Nabire Regency has the highest HIV-AIDS cases (7,420) and it followed by Jayapura Municipality at 6,189, Jayawijaya Regency at 5,964, Mimika Regency at 5,670 and Jayapura Regency at 2,918.
Most cases occurred in Papua are due to sexual intercourse with several partners which reach 14,148 (HIV) and 23,610 (AIDS), whereas another factor is the Most cases or risk factors occurred in Papua due to sexual intercourse with several partners are 14,148 (HIV) and 23,610 (AIDS). Another factor is the transmission from mother to child that reaches 212 for HIV and 473 for AIDS.
Responding to this situation, the Chairman of AIDS Commission (KPA) of Papua Province Constant Karma told Jubi on Wednesday, 22 November 2018, that firstly people must fully understand about the transmission of HIV.
He said HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal fluids if we have direct contact with wounds on the skin or open mucous membranes of people who already infected, such as mouth, nose, vagina, rectum and penis’ external urethral.
“HIV can also be transmitted through vaginal, oral and anal sex, as well as contact with blood and other body fluids. But kissing can be safe if both partners have no sore or mouth sprue. Touching, hugging and normal interacting with people infected with HIV are also safe,” he said.
He recommends people to have safe sex by using a condom and avoiding touching blood or other people’s body fluids.
“We never know who has HIV, because there is no stereotype and perhaps people don’t realise that they are already infected. So avoid to have direct contact with blood and body fluids of other people because it might have risks for HIV transmission, especially if we have open sores on any part of our body,” he said.
Karma said that the high rate of HIV-AIDS in Papua was due to people are still reluctant to conduct examinations.
“This figure indicates that the rate of people who already entered the stage of AIDS. It becomes a problem because if they get at this stage, it will be difficult to recover their condition,” he said.
Karma also said that KPA still difficulties related to funds to reduce the number of people living with HIV-AIDS in Papua. “In the past, we have collaborated with some international NGOs but not anymore because Indonesia currently regarded as a developed country. Therefore these NGOs are paying more attention to other developing countries,” he said.
Moreover, he said KPA Papua’s funds are insufficient to cover all areas of Papua, especially the mountain areas.
AIDS prevalence has reduced since 2014
Head of the Technical Implementation Unit for AIDS, TB and Malaria, Papua Health Office, dr. Beery Wopari, said that since 2014 HIV and AIDS cases in Papua had decreased, although not too significant.
“In 2014 there were 4,452 new cases found in 29 regencies and municipality, but until 2018 there were 1,993 new cases detected or found,” he said. It means that most people are willing to conduct health examinations or do early detection of the disease, explained Wopari.
“Although it is undeniable that many people are still reluctant to conduct medical checks,” he said.
Wopari hopes that the elimination process carried out by Nabire Regency which has the highest HIV-AIDS rate can be emulated by other districts in Papua Province. Nabire District Health Office has carried out medical checks for people who come for treatment at the community centres.
“The number of people living with HIV and AIDS in Nabire is currently growing. There is a regulation that requires all community centres in Nabire to carry out the preliminary tests to all patients who come for treatment to reduce it. “It is good so that we can treat people who have been infected with HIV before the patient enters the stage of AIDS,” he said. (*)
Reporter: Roy Ratumakin
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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